Kabul suicide bombing killed 18 people including children

 Violence has increased in Afghanistan despite peace talks between Taliban and Afghan government

The Kabul suicide bombing near an education center has killed 18 people including school children. More than 100 injured in the suicide attack. The Shia population was targeted in the attack. The Daesh has accepted responsibility of this barbaric attack.Violence on the ground has spiked in recent weeks despite the Taliban and the Afghan government holding peace talks in Qatar to end the country's grinding war.

Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said the attacker attempted to enter the center but was stopped by security guards. The attacker then set off the explosives in a nearby alley. The Kaswar-e-Danish Education Center was targeted. The center offers training and courses for higher education students, the AFP says.

The western Kabul neighborhood where the bombing occurred has a large Shiite community, a minority group in the country that has been targeted by the Islamic State (Daesh) in the past.

The attack came amid intensifying fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban, even as the two sides engage in peace talks. Those talks were spurred by a peace deal agreed to by the U.S. and the Taliban in February that would pave for the way for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces from the country.

Amnesty International said on Friday that at least 50 people were killed in the past week in spite of the ongoing peace talks.

The Associated Press reported that a separate attack in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday killed nine people after a roadside bomb struck a minivan full of civilians. A second roadside bomb killed two policemen who were en route to respond.

In the past, extremists have targeted several education centres and other facilities in the area.

In May, a group of gunmen launched a brazen daylight attack on a hospital in west Kabul that left several mothers dead. The gunmen were shot dead after hours of fighting with security forces.

The suicide attack came hours after a roadside bomb tore through a bus east of Kabul, killing nine civilians. Officials blamed that blast on the Taliban.

Despite holding peace talks with the Afghan government in Doha since last month, the Taliban have only increased violence, in a bid to wield leverage in the negotiations.

The top US envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said earlier this week that fighting was threatening the peace process.

US influence over Afghanistan's battlegrounds is on the wane, however, with the Pentagon looking to withdraw all its remaining troops by next May.

The Taliban have been quick to exploit the apparent lack of resolve, and began to push for fresh military gains as soon as they signed a withdrawal deal with the US in February.

                                                             Naila Chaudhry

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